Rates, Building & Property

Rates glossary

There are different kinds of rates for different kinds of property. Here are the most common rates terms explained.

For full details of our rates charges, see the 10-Year Plan extract at the bottom of this page.

Fixed charges

  • fixed charges are made to cover the costs of services which can be identified by property (water supply, wastewater disposal, recycling)
  • each property with a similar service pays the same fixed amount
  • significant non-residential water users are metered

Uniform annual general charge

  • a uniform annual general charge is applied to all rateable properties within Palmerston North
  • it ensures each property contributes a minimum amount of the general rate and moderates rates on high value properties
  • the uniform general charge for 2018-19 is $690

General rate

Each property is charged a general rate – based on land value – with different rates (differentials) applying to each property category.

The categories in the Council's differential rating scheme reflect differing property uses:

  • single unit residential
  • multi-unit residential
  • non-residential
  • rural and semi-serviced
  • miscellaneous

Differential surcharges (a higher rate in the dollar) are applied to multi-unit residential and commercial/industrial properties. Single unit residential and rural/semi-serviced properties are charged lower rates.

Single unit residential

  • one house on one section

Multi-unit residential

  • a single dwelling with flat attached
  • Two or more houses, flats or apartments on one certificate of title


  • property used for business or industry

Rural and semi-serviced

  • land that doesn't have access to Council wastewater services


  • miscellaneous describes a range of property uses, including home-based businesses, commercial/industrial in the rural area, and some categories of vacant land